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Lavant Horticultural Society, Chichester

Lavant Horticultuiral Society
Pink flowers of Cyclamen hederifolium

A short selection of things to do in the garden at this time, also published each month in the Lavant News

October (to look back to September, click the ceratostigma to the right).

Clear up fallen leaves regularly so they do not damage lawns and plants by blocking out light and harbouring pests such as slugs. Turn them into useful leaf mould: pile them in a post and chicken wire pen or fill them into plastic waste bags - ensure they are wet and make holes in the bags with a garden fork. You can collect the leaves with the mower – they decompose more quickly when chopped up.

Cyclamen hederifolium

However, make sure not to use diseased leaves from around rose bushes and fruit trees for leaf mould or compost, as this would merely serve to spread disease. Collecting and burning such leaves is an important way of combating diseases such as black spot and scab.

When storing apples, use only good condition fruit (windfalls will invariably be bruised) and put them in single layers. Cardboard supermarket trays are useful for this, as they can be stacked and allow some circulation of air. Check regularly to remove bad apples before they affect the rest.

Apply grease bands or barrier glue to the trunks of fruit trees to protect against winter moths; also apply to any stake that is joined to the tree above the barrier. For fissured bark the glue is best, as moths would just climb up the gaps inside a grease band.

One of the most rewarding vegetables to grow in the garden is asparagus – it is not difficult to grow and shop-bought asparagus just does not compare. October is a good time to prepare the ground for planting out crowns in March, which will provide you with asparagus for many years to come.

Bring tender plants back inside as temperatures fall, checking carefully for pests and diseases that they may have picked up outside. Tip unhappy looking plants out of the pot to examine the root ball for soil-based pests such as vine weevil.

Make sure patio containers left outside are raised on tiles, bricks or purpose-made feet to avoid them getting waterlogged during the winter. Put alpines somewhere sheltered from the worst of the rain – they do not mind the winter cold, providing they are not too wet.

Click above to look forward

to November

Click below for

more comprehensive

advice for this month

from the RHS

Wildlife in the garden - provide a refuge for the winter.

Choose the size & style to suit your garden and the materials you have available.

A neat log pile ...

a rough pile of wood ...

a "bug hotel" from recycled materials - large ...

... or small

It need not take much time, or space.        Get more information on all of these possibilities by clicking on the pictures above.

Click for RHS info on plants

good for bees & pollinators.